Does Herbivore’s Bakuchiol Serum Actually Contain Bakuchiol?

Herbivore Botanicals is a brand that prides itself on believing the power of nature can bring your skin tangible benefits.

They claim to bring you products that are safe, truly natural and highly effective.

However, this week that ethos has been put to task because of one of their best sellers. Their Bakuchiol Serum, which retails for an excessive £49, was tested by a supplier. The results showed it did not contain the 1% of Bakuchiol the brand claims it does.

Herbivore’s Bakuchiol serum

Bakuchiol has recently seen huge commercial success because of its comparisons to retinol and Herbivore Botanicals was one of the first brands to capitalise from its increasing popularity.

Click here to read the difference between Bakuchiol and Retinol.

In 2020, because of the success of Bakuchiol, Sytheon (a company that produces Bakuchiol for commercial use) commissioned an analytical study to assess the level of Bakuchiol in nine commercial cosmetic products from the USA and Europe.

9 consumer cosmetics were tested including; The Inkey List, REN, Medik8 and of course Herbivore, among others.

The study found, Herbivore Bakuchiol Serum contained only 2.27 ppm of Bakuchiol when 1% has been claimed by the brand on social media. 

This indicates Herbivore has been falsely claiming the percentage of the active ingredient found in their product.

Herbivore released this statement on the scandal via social media:

“Herbivore Bakuchiol Serum is a naturally derived retinol-alternative serum that addresses signs of aging. Our beloved serum contains the ingredient bakuchiol, naturally sourced from Ayurvedic babchi seed extract. 
We are aware of the claims made by Sytheon, an ingredient supplier, regarding the safety of our serum. We are unable to speak to the legitimacy of the test or its results since they have failed to provide us with the methodology used or the detailed results of their assertions.

We proudly stand by our serum and what it can do for our customers and hope that consumers do not fall victim to biased information provided by a company upset that we did not choose them as a supplier. Your satisfaction is our top priority and if you’re not happy with an Herbivore purchase, we offer a money back guarantee or credit within 60 days of purchase.”

Whether the claims are true or not, is hard to tell. Maybe Herbivore are correct in thinking this is a vindictive move from a company who they once rejected. However, I’m sure as a supplier, they will be rejected by plenty of brands – surely they don’t have the time and money to do this to all of them?

It would be extremely useful for a more independent body to test the product but until that happens it’s very much a case of which side are you on?

For £49, I won’t be buying it anyway….

Photos via Herbivore